“lucymckenzie2022”

Lucy McKenzie

Approval of the Committees

17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023
Thursday - Saturday, 12.00 - 6.00pm


C A B I N E T
132 Tyers Street
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens
London SE11 5HS

   

Inspired by history painting, allegorical narrative and, above all, the muralist tradition, McKenzie harnesses the propagandist purpose as a tool (conversely) for raising awareness. Carefully composed, peopled with objects, historical situations and figures, real and invented episodes, the scene’s decorative treatment masks a critique of the official, heroic history of modernity in fashion, architecture and design. McKenzie’s deliberate blend of registers, periods and figures reinforces her corrective, satirical take on an idealised narrative. As always in her work, she shows evident delight in the practice of painting, with mordant wit and a very real sense of aesthetic enjoyment.This new project freely associates critical and feminist issues with more personal, intimate concerns.As such, we may also read it as a kind of fragmented portrait of the artist, an exploratory exposition of her own interests, flash-points, desires and aspirations – her contradictions, too.

Street Vitrine II (Niche) presents a selection of mostly hand intarsia garments spanning from 2011- 2021.A few of these garments were made at Ballantynes before it ceased to function in 2013. In 1921, the sons of David Ballantyne formed D. Ballantyne Brothers and Co. Ltd., a cashmere knitting factory in Innerleithen, Scotland. During the 1950s, the company moved into the fashion sweater market, rebranded as Ballantyne Sportswear Co. Ltd. , developing intarsia designs that appealed to people of sophisticated taste. Ballantyne was recognised as one of the finest makers of cashmere in the world.

Street Vitrine II (Niche) was dressed by Barbara Kelly and Howard Tong. Barbara Kelly dressed the windows for Berk, Burlington Arcade, 1998-2016, who sold Ballantyne and John Smedley - inspiration for the Niche vitrine.

Precisely (and while resolutely plying her own course) McKenzie reconciles two political strands in the making of art: political in the sense of “popular”, sharing forms that speak to individuals at all levels of society, and political in the sense of “progressive” – offering a critical, reformist vision of reality.We see how far her work, its economic roots in everyday reality, its blurring of codes and messages – sets out deliberately to break the separatist pact between contemporary art and the rest of the world. Hers is a practice which, though peppered with references to the “official” history of Western art, flirts endlessly with the margins to shift and decentralise its dominant axis, at a time when our need for multiple narratives has become a matter of survival.


“lucymckenzie2022” Atelier E.B, Street Vitrine II (Niche), 2020-22
Installation View, Lucy McKenzie, Approval of the Committees, Cabinet, London, 17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023

 
“lucymckenzie2022” Atelier E.B, Street Vitrine II (Niche), 2020-22
Installation View, Lucy McKenzie, Approval of the Committees, Cabinet, London, 17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023

 
“lucymckenzie2022” Lucy McKenzie, On The Prowl, 2021-22
Installation View, Lucy McKenzie, Approval of the Committees, Cabinet, London, 17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023

 
“lucymckenzie2022” Lucy McKenzie, On The Prowl, 2021-22
Installation View, Lucy McKenzie, Approval of the Committees, Cabinet, London, 17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023

 
“lucymckenzie2022” Lucy McKenzie, House of Prototypes, 2021-22
Installation View, Lucy McKenzie, Approval of the Committees, Cabinet, London, 17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023

 
“lucymckenzie2022” Lucy McKenzie, House of Prototypes, 2021-22
Installation View, Lucy McKenzie, Approval of the Committees, Cabinet, London, 17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023

 
“lucymckenzie2022” Lucy McKenzie, House of Prototypes, 2021-22
Installation View, Lucy McKenzie, Approval of the Committees, Cabinet, London, 17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023

 
“lucymckenzie2022” Lucy McKenzie, On The Prowl, 2021-22 (detail), Installation View, Lucy McKenzie, Approval of the Committees, Cabinet, London, 17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023
 
“lucymckenzie2022” Lucy McKenzie, On The Prowl, 2021-22 (detail), Installation View, Lucy McKenzie, Approval of the Committees, Cabinet, London, 17 November 2022 - 21 January 2023